The Vernon Source For Sports Tigers are creeping up on the Kelowna Raiders.
The Cats improved to 8-2 with a pair of Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League wins, including a 15-9 decision over the first-place Kelowna Raiders Saturday night at Kal Tire Place. It was the 8-1-1 Raiders’ first loss of the season.
Vernon outgunned the host South Okanagan Flames 14-9 Sunday in Penticton.
“It felt good for sure,” said Tigers’ veteran Craig Bigsby of Saturday’s win. “Bringing it in their barn (14-10 loss last Thursday), we knew they could play. But coming back to our barn, we showed we could retaliate.”
Part of Vernon’s success stemmed from their ability to stifle Raiders’ sniper Brendan Urban, who collected seven goals Thursday. He scored once Saturday.
“Our defence really stopped him, which was nice to see, but he’s not their only skilled player,” said Bigbsy, who pocketed two goals and an assist. “We have a skilled defence so we’ve got a couple guys who could contain him.”
Nolan Frame and Sean Connors each collected hat tricks for the Tigers, who got 2+7 from Jordan Orr, 2+3 from Ryan Sarazin, 1+4 from Jay Seaton and a single by Liam McPhee. Daryl Landels chipped in with four assists.
Pat McMillan (3), Andrew McMillan (2+1) and Evan Helgesen (2) were the main threats for Kelowna.
Bigsby said the return of Matt Kolb, Theo Wagner and Sarazin gave Vernon a lot more depth and allowed them to follow their system.
“We were trying to make them play our pace – slow it down and then speed it up when we needed it.”
Sarazin netted four goals and two helpers to led the Vernon attack against Penticton. Frame (3+1), Orr (1+3), Seaton (1+2), Bayne Bosquet, Landels, Logan Revell, Bigsby and Mason Limb rounded out the scoring.
Josh Greenwood, with a hat trick, and Kaid McLeod, with 2+4, led the Flames’ attack.
Vernon starter Joel Fruncillo left the game with an injured hand, and was replaced by Aaron Jensen.
Vernon hosts the 3-7 Flames Saturday at Kal Tire Place.
Meanwhile, the 2-5-2 Armstrong Shamrocks visit Kelowna Thursday night, and then host the 2-8-1 Kamloops Venom Friday at Nor-Val Sports Centre.